UnScripted: Authentic Leadership Podcast

The Current State of Law Enforcement & How Leaders Can Help! Feat. Jesus Eddie Campa

August 02, 2021 John LeBrun & La'Fayette Lane Episode 49
UnScripted: Authentic Leadership Podcast
The Current State of Law Enforcement & How Leaders Can Help! Feat. Jesus Eddie Campa
Show Notes Transcript

¬†ūüĎģ In this episode, John and La'Fayette are joined by special guest Jesus Eddie Campa from EL Paso, TX. Jesus is a retired chief of police and current CEO of Leading Through Adversity and AB Strategic Group.¬† John, La'Fayette, and Jesus have a discussion about the current state of law enforcement and how leaders can help!¬† Within the conversation John, La'Fayette, and Jose discuss how we can break down the barriers that exist between the police and community relations, defunding the police, does this¬† help or hurt the community?, and would legalizing recreational drugs such as marijuana reduce drug-related crimes?, and more! Hit that PLAY & SHARE button to hear more on how leaders can help make a change in the current state of law enforcement!

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#Podcast  #police  #lawenforcement #cops #policeofficer #policerelations #firstresponders #UnscriptedLeadership #LaneDriven #Leadership

Welcome to the unscripted Authentic Leadership Podcast . A podcast where we're seeking to lead change while also seeking to understan. We are also here the platform to come together to develop our other leaders in the areas of business, family, faith and community. I'm your host, La'Fayette Lane, joined by my co-host John LeBrun. And today we are joined by our special guest, Jesus Eddie Campa, put those clap emoji's in the comments section. Put those hands together. Make Jesus feel real comfortable right here on the unscripted podcast. He has joined us to have an incredible conversation around the current state of law enforcement. Just a little bit about our special guest, Eddie. He is a retired chief of police and current CEO of Leading Through Adversity and a strategic group CEO Jesus Eddie Campa Let's get right into the conversation. We're so excited to have you again. Jesus, just kicking this topic off. This is a very sensitive topic. It is a relevant topic. It's a topic that some are afraid to have. But we are here are unscripted. We're not afraid to have those tough, hard conversations. And so I want to kick it off by asking you, Eddie, what are some of the the barriers to good police community relations between the police and specifically not just the community, but between the police and minorities? And what strategies can be taken to eliminate those? Yeah, absolutely. Thank you very much for having me on the show. And, you know, you bring up a very touchy subject for a lot of law enforcement people. And this is you know, this is something that I'm not afraid to talk about. This is something that I've been talking about since I began my career in 1994. You know, the lack of communication, the lack of empathy, the lack of wanting to to get to know each other. This the lack of procedural justice is one of the things that is causing the current rift that we're in. You know, there's there's several things that law enforcement hates, the hate, the way they hate, the way things are, and they hate change, you know. So do you think just everything just stays the same? So I think that what we really need to do is we really need to sit down and come to communication. And if anybody's familiar with procedural justice and 21st century policing, that's basically what it calls for. You know, and it's funny because people always ask me what's procedural justice? I don't understand what that is. And I say, well, simply put, it's the golden rule. You know, the golden rule of procedural justice is treat others the way you want to be treated, you know. And it's that simple, you know, and it's almost kind of laughable when people can't just see how how easy this this would be, you know? Of course, you can't just blame everything on law enforcement. Ninety nine percent of us are good guys, 99 percent of us are trying to do the right thing. It's unfortunate that that oil that that squeaky wheel gets the oil. But you know, that ninety nine percent is out there actually trying to do a good job. So I just think we got to sit down at the table, communicate, learn a little bit about empathy and not be afraid of learning to know about each other's the different ethnic groups and and races. Yeah, I love that response. You said one word that stuck out to me in your in your response, you said change. And that's a love word that scares a lot of people. And because of that fear, it brings unnecessary violence and brings unnecessary things that occur because we have differences. And it's about making those differences, not making them where they pull us apart, but our differences that unify us and bring us together. Absolutely. So. Well, you know, one of the things that I did when I was the chief of police in Texas, I created a program called No Colors, No Labels With No Colors, No Labels Initiative . And that initiative was designed to remove the preconceived notion that the community had that the police were racially motivated. Well, one of the things that we did is we created I had a I had a monthly cultural awareness meal. And every every month we highlighted a particular race that made up our community, you know. And so like, for instance, the very first one was on a Hispanic heritage. And we had, you know, your traditional Mexican food. We brought in the experts to talk about the Mexican culture and educate people. And as as the program went on and it went on for 12 months, highlighting every race that we had within our community, we started seeing people come together because they were no longer afraid of the differences, because they understood the difference is powerful. And what they understood was that we had more in common than we did then than we were any different. So if people were just to take the time to get to know one another and understand the cultures and the differences and the beliefs, they'll see that they all actually align maybe a little bit differently, but they all align and we can solve a lot of the problems that way. Sure. Speaking of that, do you think the racial makeup of a community's police department should be similar to the racial makeup of the community it serves are saying that this is unnecessary? Oh, no, absolutely. I've always I've always been a proponent of the work force should mirror the community that you're serving. When you have a it is hard to do when you have a very diverse community. I mean, because it's going to be very hard. You know, if you've got, for instance, Houston Community College, there is a community college has over 200 countries that attend community college in Houston. Now, they only have seventy nine police officers on their police department. It's going to be kind of hard to to get somebody to represent all those 200 come on the police department. But that's where that's where the racial empathy and, you know, and understanding comes into place. Cultural awareness is very important. Yeah, you're talking about that that culture where cultural awareness. We had a series of back when we first started our podcast, we had a biased series. We talked about the different unconscious biases. Gender bias, name bias is racial bias. Do you think that because research has shown that unconscious racial bias often impacts human behavior, as you've already alluded to? What can law enforcement do in terms of training, educating or cultivating an internal culture to combat the effect of unconscious racial bias so that it does not affect how police enforce the law? Yeah, absolutely. That's a that's a really good question and a very loaded one, because it's my opinion that I believe that we as law enforcement, we really need to go back and retrace our hiring practices. And it goes all the way to retracing our hiring practices, re retracing the level of education that a new officer has when they come out onto the field, you know. So, yeah, I mean, we all have biases. OK, everybody you know, I mean, I always laugh when people say I'm not biased. Really? Yeah. Well, you know, I know for a fact you don't like McDonald's or your bias against McDonald's. I mean, it's as silly as that. It's true, you know, but everybody has some sort of bias. But I really do think that what we need to do in the law enforcement field is actually go back and retrace our hiring practices and go back to our selection process. Do spend more time concentrating on on. Oh, my, I got on a person's understanding of different cultures, you know, and that the relationship is there and that they're right for this position and we have to concentrate more on learning how to de-escalate situations as opposed to escalating the situations . Sure, you talk about those hiring practices sometimes from the outside looking in. We're trying to figure out as a community and the minority community how this officer even get hired on. Oh, no, because of the actions that they took were so irresponsible. It just seemed like they were just acting rogue or they just didn't have any prior training. What is what is the hiring process of when you go to be a police officer? Well, you know, and that's a that's another hard question, because there are very good hiring practices. I mean, you have to fill out an application. You have to do a psychological examination. You go through a background check, you go through an oral board interview, and then you spend, you know, six months, seven months in a police academy training. You do all these things. Right. But I think that, you know, right now, most police agencies, you know, you have to be 21 years of age to to become a police officer. A lot of agencies do not require a college degree. And I'm not saying that a college degree is required for the job. What I'm saying is that, you know, and no offense to anybody that works at McDonald's, but today I'm working at McDonald's on my 20th birthday. I turned 21 tomorrow. And on Tuesday I start the police academy and I get six months worth of training. And I'm out on the street for another four or five months with an F2, and then I'm free to arrest if I have to take human life. Was this you from your freedoms? Now, I don't know about you, but I wouldn't trust a heart surgeon operating on my heart if he'd only have had a year worth of experience in training, you know? So I think that we really need to spend more time on our training. In law enforcement, but unfortunately, the people that hold the purse strings, which are city councils or county commissioners or whatever. Every time there's a budget cut, the first thing they do is cut police training, which is the most important thing, you know. So how do we change that is we have to have people in power that understand the importance of training and education, you know, because that's a better trained officer, better educated officer who's going to make better decisions and watch out what he's saying and what he's doing. And we should be able to prevent having any of those racial issues once we're out on the field. Do you think it would help if they delayed? So when I was 20, 21, 22, obviously I was way less mature than now. And, you know, I was probably a relatively mature 21 year old compared to some friends. But still, let's be honest, I'm 21. So but as a 28 year old, you're definitely more mature than 21, 38. And I know I understand you can't wait to someone's 40 to let them finally, you know, start to patrol. But would it be advantageous then to almost increase the age to 25 or something? Well, you know, it's a lot of responsibility for a 21 year old. I just think it is. But then the argument comes out, well, you know, we're sending 18 year olds to the military to fight a war. That's a lot of responsibility. So you can never. That's the problem is we're never going to find that right answer because everything contradicts everything. You know, if you're 18 years of age, you're good enough to go serve our country and fight a war. But at 18, you can't be a police officer in your own community to help your community. At 18 years of age, you can go to war, but you're not old enough to drink. It's like so everything just contradicts everything. There's no there's no standard, you know. So to say it would be advantageous to let somebody, you know, maybe at 25 or 28 years of age goes back to the training portion, you know, maybe. And I know as a police chief and as a state director, I know how hard it is for us to recruit people. OK. It's very hard to recruit people, especially women, especially now. Nobody wants to do this job. You know, police. Police chiefs. Their tenure is anywhere between one to two years right now. You know, because we're in a council culture, the police chief is running a good agency. But the mistake of one officer will that chief, his job might not cause the officer whose job it'll cost the chief his job. Mm hmm. So maybe through prolonging it, saying like and I don't want to say that you need a college degree. I'm just saying that we need some more training. Maybe maybe, you know, maybe a degree would definitely make you have to go through a process just age, to be quite honest. Right. Well, you know, I mean, a lot of kids, you know, so like my kid, he's going to be graduating high school at 17. So, you know, if he did a traditional track in four years, he would be 21 by the time he came out now. Right. We were anticipating hope that if you got through college, it's because you're disciplined. Yes. You're trained. You're a little bit mature. You know how to handle your things. And that may transition over to to the law enforcement side, right? Yeah. But what I'm saying is that I think that once a law enforced, you know, even an electrician has to go through apprentices. I mean, he goes to a technical school. He graduates with his license, but then he becomes an apprentice, a German, a German, German, or whatever they are. But there's like all these different levels before he's actually cut up his own. We need to find something like that for law enforcement. You know, and and, you know, I'm 48 years now, 48 years old now. We were having this conversation when I was 21. I tell you that this old man here is insane. You don't know what he's talking about. Yeah. Sure. But you look at things differently. So there's a man named Jocko Willink, if you're familiar with him, he talks about extreme ownership and he he has a shows and so forth. But I heard him comment on a short film about how much you mentioned the military, but he talked about how much training they go through, not just the six to nine to 12 months of training before they go to a field within the continual training all the time. He basically said 75 percent of what we do is train for twenty five percent of the actual work. He said if we could just give the law enforcement. Twenty five percent of what they do is training. I think he said he thinks it would completely flip or would help immensely. A lot of issues. And it was show people, hey, we train like crazy. I don't know. How do you know? I mean, I totally agree with that comment. I did see that short film or he talks about that. Yeah, my percentages could be slightly off, but that's basically saying. Yeah, I mean, but you're you're close. You're close. And the thing is with that is that, as I said earlier, the problem with that is that every time there's a budget issue that's got the police department cut, cut, cut public safety. So as as as as the chief, you look at your well, you can't cut you can't cut personnel because you're already short staffed as it is. You can't cut fuel costs because you need fuel for your cars. You can't cut maintenance costs. You can't do this. Oh, well, we don't have time to train anyways because we're so busy and short staffed, so cut training more. And we've diluted the amount of training that law enforcement gets that it's ridiculous. You know, it's an investment. It's an investment. You know, I mean, even nowadays you're looking at at colleges, the universities that are putting themselves out of business because they're looking at it as as a business. Hey, come get a bachelor's degree for seventy thousand dollars, you know. Trust me, I know I'm working on a Ph.D. I graduate next year. And my return on investment on that is never going to happen. But I'm I'm a I'm about a hundred thousand dollars in the hole by the time it's over. Sure. And I'm like, I maybe should have bought a house because it doesn't make me I mean, another house or something, because there's no return on investment. Yeah. So that's what these cities and counties need to do, is they're spending all this money on lawsuits and and complaints and this and that is put the money in the training invested in the officer that you have, the agency. Grow the training and will be better off. I hear you talking about the training and the resources. There's the whole idea that I've heard and I've seen from different various social groups, such as the Black Lives Matter movement. They are proposing for defund the police. What do you think about that whole idea about defunding the police? Will that help or would that hurt the minority? You know, that they'll that's going to do is hurt. It's going to make things worse. And here's the thing is, I always laugh because people think that this whole defund the police is Neil. You know, if if you know the history of defunding the police movement, it actually started in the early 60s and started up in Chicago with the Black Panthers. There's a matter of fact, there was a movie that came out this year, and I always forget the name of the movie, and I went to go see it. And I was like, this is an awesome movie for this whole defund the police movement. You know, Chicago at the time was an all Caucasian police department. You know, they they were at war with the Black Panthers. They burned down the Black Panthers facility headquarters. It started this whole defund the move the police movement. But coming to today, I wish people would use the proper term and say reallocate instead of defund. You know, as a police chief or as a police administrator administrator, I have no problem with you taking things away that do not belong in my wheel well. Such as? Such as mental health issues. I mean, I have to be trained on how to deal with them. But, hey, I barely got trained on law enforcement. You gave me you gave me six months. You know, now you want me to be an expert, psychologist, psychiatrist. You know, you want me to be a priest. You want me to be a doctor. You want to be a nurse. You want me to be a teacher, a father, a brother, an uncle. You want me to be all of these things, but you don't give me the tools to do it, you know? So, for instance, if you take NYPD, you know, they took, I think, a big chunk. LAPD took a big chunk from there. But if you actually look, it was a reallocation of funds. It wasn't a defunding. So they took the mental health services away from the police department and put it in and put it in in a different in a different aisle in the city budget. They just took that money and reallocated. So there's really no defunding. But when you come in and you if you're going to talk about defunding and you're starting to hurt the training, the number of officers we can hire. And there's no place for that. You know, I mean, a lawless society is an anarchic society. And, you know, we we're a nation of laws and rules. And I think mankind and any nation has to have rules and guidelines, and you have to have guardians to be able to keep that. And I think that that's what law enforcement should be looked at as, as as guardians and not as this law enforcement. We're here to protect and make sure that everybody is equally protected and served. And the key word there is equally and I think that's one of the major things that's missing in law enforcement, is that while we may be equal. But are we all valued at the same equity level? Do we all have the same equity? And right now, we don't. So with the proper training, education resources, you'll be able to balance it out and you'll have true justice just the way Lady Justice is supposed to be, you know? Sure. How do you get to that same. I'm sorry. How do you get the same equity that you mentioned about like can you expand on that at all? That's super interesting to me. I'm trying to visualize how that I get what you're saying, but I'm trying to visualize how that is. How do you implement that? How do you how what kind of how do you put structures in for that? Well, one of the places that we start is everybody. The first thing everybody wants to do is blame the police. Right. Well, let's put blame where it really lies. We are, unfortunately, a nation of systems and a lot of our systems are broken, you know. So if we want to get true equity, we need to get to the root of the problem. And it's not the police department and it's not the citizens, you know. We have a government, a government that's up here that has fractured all of these systems, and we're the recipients of, as they say, what rolls downhill. Right. So now we've got to take all those systems and align them to where everybody is valued in an equal manner. How do we do that? Well, we have to hope that somebody we start electing the right people. We have to start hoping that we know we can value each other for being human beings and not being a color or not being a difference. I mean, he. The solutions are there. It's just how do we get there? You know, how do we end racism? What we've been trying to end racism forever. We can't seem to do that. But is it an issue of race or is an issue of equality? I mean, you know, everybody has the same opportunity. But but but is it equal? You know, there's this commercial that I saw the other day or not, a commercial, a tick tock thing that I saw the other day. And I was like. And it said something like this. It said, it's a lady saying, you know, a bachelor's degree was viewed highly at one time until people of color started getting them. Hmm. Now, you know any truth to that? I don't know. Is that propaganda which is breaking us apart even further? And how about how about we all come together and try to find a systematic solution to what we all are about, you know, value each other for what we truly are? Yeah. But when you have politicians, you know, and I don't want to make this into a political debate, but when you have politicians, you know, most recently our former president, that likes to throw out this rhetoric about division and all of this stuff. Yeah. I mean, you have the highest authority in our nation saying these things, and it's the trickle down effect. And it's like, you know, come on, bro, let's let's let's patch things up. Let's not make things worse. You know, so so to answer your question is, how do you do it? Honestly, I don't know. I mean, I know there's a systematic way of doing it. We all got to come together. We all got to get along. But at the same time, we have to fix our mental our mental health issues. We got to fix our social economic issues. We can no longer have suburbs versus ghettos, suburbs or shows downtowns. We have to eliminate all that. And I'm not and I know somebody is going to say, oh, you're talking about socialism. No, I'm not talking about socialism. No, no. I'm talking about giving everybody the fair share at the same value. Right. So, John, I hope I didn't answer your question, but I mean, I hope I got a little bit cause to answer now. You're good. I understand. I was just curious if there is maybe something I didn't know about a possible way to approach to address that equity that you talked about? Because I get it. It's just it's just a hard discussion to figure out is what is my point? Because there's that line between everybody says we can't just give everybody something vs. some people haven't had a fair shot. Like people don't actually realize. And I'm pretty conservative person. I'm I'm a no. You know, my kids don't get any special ribbons or trophies for not winning something kind of guy. But at the same time, people don't understand that some communities were literally built by banks with the when they were put together. If you research, you can go research this from John if you're not looking. I'm about as pasty as it gets. And but communities are literally built by banks with the understanding that, hey, we're going to fund these communities, but this is a white only community. I didn't believe it. I had to do the research. New York was filled with those suburbs where I was like, hey, it wasn't posted, but it was basically understood. And you can find the research like crazy, which wasn't that long ago. It wasn't like this was in the eighteen hundreds, which really still isn't that long ago for people to understand. That's it's that's a that's only about two generations away as far as family. And so, you know, when you're you're basically saying, hey, this is a nice place to live, but you know, if you're white, you can stay there. If you're not too bad, then that affects that would affect several family generations because, you know, is that makes sense. And so these are the things I had. And there's other things I can get into. I could talk all day on this, but there's things like that. And, you know, I'm big on equality of opportunity, but a lot of people are looking for equality of outcome, which I think is a whole nother discussion. But anyways. Well, so argue this perfect example. You know, you know, all three of us go to the baseball game. And obviously, if you're not looking, you know, you've got you've got a black man, a brown man, a white man. Right. And, you know, and we all go to the baseball game. Now, John, Tall, like five nine, Lafeyette, six one. OK, well, you said you're focused on five nine. So I'm the short one here right now. I'm five nine. Yeah. Oh, you're five nine. OK, I'm going to be five eight for the sake of argument. Oh, yeah. The fence happens to be five nine and I can see over it. But hey, it's equal. We're all there, right? Mhm. But do we have the same equality? You can see the game. I can't. Yeah. You know, so all I need is for somebody to just to give me a small wooden plank that's at least two inches tall so I can see the game. Now we've all got equality and and we're all equal because we're all we're all being the same. So it's not talking about a handout or anything like that. It's just it's a hand up. It's a hand up. Yeah. Leveling the playing field so that we all can, you know, and that's exactly what it is. But you know, what I'm excited about and what I'm seeing is I'm seeing that this new generation, you know, like Lafayette's generation that's coming up is that they see. They see the importance in this, they actually get it right, and I'm hoping that, you know, systematically through. True. Through as we all Deezer start dying off and you guys start picking up that maybe we'll see a revolt. Well, I'm sure I'll never see it, but we'll see a revolt where everybody's treated equally. It has the same equity and everything that we do. And that may be the answer. Yeah, you've talked about those resources. We've been talking about the resources of the police department. One resource that I've seen that has worked when it is working. And what I mean, what it is working on talking referring to body cameras when they are on. What do you think an effective body camera program should look like? Because I've seen some police departments, they're mandating that they have it and make sure that the officers have it on all the time or have it on when they're interacting with the citizen. And then I've also seen other police departments say they don't have the resources or some officers have body cameras. And mysteriously, when an officer involved shooting is going on, mysteriously, the camera just went off. What do you think about body effective body camera programs? Yes, absolutely. So when I and my first police chief job, we didn't have body cameras and I was the chief who introduced body cameras to the organization. And it was a it was a must have on any time you have in communication with with a citizen. You know, there was there was a very clear disciplinary issue if the camera was not turned on when you had an issue. But then you have this beautiful thing called technology that does fail at times. And it just always seems that when you need that body camera the most, it's when it really decides to actually fail. Well, you can only use that excuse so many times right before people start. People don't start to believe it. Right. So it then becomes a thing about of accountability. And, you know, in a lot of large agencies, people, it's it's hard to keep people accountable because you have police unions who reverse decisions and things like this. You know, as a police chief, you know, you wield you wield a lot of power in your organization. But to be quite honest with you, the police unions will more power than you do. So regardless of what your disciplinary matrix says, regardless of what the issues that you stand on or it's are you going to be able to get? The proper discipline for that officer violating your policy for your body camera program held accountable. That's where the issue really lies. You know, but but, you know, I think that very clear policies camera must be on. You know, the thing that kills law enforcement is the storage, the cloud storage to hold the material. If the camera is cheap. The camera is inexpensive to purchase. It's actually holding the storage of it. You know, that they cost a lot of money and a lot of agencies, especially, you know, 80 percent of law enforcement agencies across the nation are rural agencies, you know, made up of anywhere between one to 12 police officers per agency. They don't have the resources. They don't have the funding to be able to do that. And that's where we see a lot of issues. But I think as long as you have a very clear cut policy that states when and when those cameras will be on, you have to have a very good maintenance uptake for those cameras to make sure that they're properly working at all times. And, you know, and the bad thing about the body cameras, it just depends on what style you have, because if I'm wearing your traditional body camera, that goes here. You know, when I if it's an officer involved shooting and I draw my gun, what do you think that camera is going to see? It's easiest. Yeah. Now, I better hope that I have somebody, another officer somewhere else that has their camera running, because it's all unfortunately, we live in a world that loves to believe perception instead of reality. Sure. And, you know, a lot of the times as a police chief, I've seen body footage that look like, oh, my God , we're going to get sued. We're in the wrong. And then you see a different angle, a different body camera on and you're like, hey, wait a minute, hold on. Oh, OK. OK, this this makes sense, this is this is justifiable. So I think that the thing is, is that people and I get it, people don't trust the police. I get it. I understand that. It's important for us to earn that trust back and how do we earn that trust is by developing community relations with our community. And what I'm talking about is going out there and meeting the community, talking to the stakeholders, holding your agents, your officers accountable, holding yourself accountable. And and if you made a mistake in that agency, you need to come out and just say you made a mistake and got to earn that trust again. Yeah, I answered your question. Love it. No, that was great. We talked about the relationship between the community and the police department. And I believe that we need more representation, more officers on the police task force. But how do we overcome the obstacle of recruiting minority officers? What I believe as a black male. I personally would never do it just because I'm not part of my life. And I have a family, you know, so my heart goes out to police officers. But I think black men and black women are, too. They're in a conundrum. And I think it's two different things that, well, if I want to be a police officer, I'll be shunned by the black community because I'm going to go work for the enemy. Or if I go work as a police officer and I speak up, then I'm breaking down. I'm going to guess that blue wall that's supposed to be on supposed to have the band of brothers back in uniform. So how do we break that down for minorities that say, hey, we need you on the police force? So bring that diversity to break down that culture, to better work with the community. We need more minority officers. How do we overcome that challenge of recruiting minority officers to join the police force? Yeah. You know, and that was that was something that was hard to do 20 years ago. It's something that's even harder to do today. And that's just to get anybody to do it. Now, you know, when you live when you live in an area like this, take the take, El Paso, Texas, for an example. Well, the majority of us are Hispanic. So the majority of people you're going to get on your agency are going to be Hispanic officers. Right. And I think the way the way you attract people, the way you attract new recruits, is by showing them that it's not just all about the money, showing them what pours in, because that's one of the things that I did. We had a hard time recruiting before I got to that agency as we systematically started changing things and we started changing our reputation about being more community oriented, more community service building programs that serve the community like like no colors, no labels, the the ice, the cool cups, ice cream truck. And I built a relationship and a partnership with Blue Bell ice cream. We created an ice cream truck out of a police car, out of a police truck. And we would go around handing out ice cream. And people started seeing that we were putting them first and automatically people were attracted to that. And more more Hispanics, more and more, more, more, more African-Americans and Oriental people started joining the agency just because of the actions they were seen as do the positive impact. What a lot of police chiefs don't want to do is they don't want to do the work. You know, this this requires work. So so the only way you're going to do that is by going out and building these relationships and talking to the minorities and trying to convince them that you need them to better your organization. And it does help, especially when when they see it as an action and not just words. So I have a relatively recent new perspective, because we have a client for one of my company, for my family's company who has hired us. They were I can't mention who they are, but it was a it was a police department here in Ohio. And basically the mayor had recognized had said, hey, I think we have a toxic environment. Can you guys come in and look and just get it? Just is it me or am I making this up? I don't know. We've had too many officers leave and they need to understand what's going on. Like good officers, they don't care if so much of the bad ones. But he's had some stellar ones go to another place that pays less and is more dangerous. So like, OK, so he came in and there's a report that people can Google the company name. It'll show up on Google apparently as my name or our name all over it. But because we didn't know that it's a fairly when we write a report for the Department of the City, it's a public thing. So, yeah, they know that. But anyways, so fast forward. We were all in the news for a little while, but it's a little town. So nobody nobody watches their news. But what we found, though, was the the chief didn't expect this was a large problem within the culture of the of the police department. And it was causing a lot of stress on a lot of the officers now. And fortunately, there was no issues at this place with some of the mainstream things we see in the media with police departments and, you know, different cultures and so forth. That was has not been an issue that we've seen in this department. And they seem to have a good relationship with the community. But what I did notice was they had a hard time recruiting other good officers because other departments would almost say, hey, you guys should stay away from such and such police department because that chief over there is ridiculous. And you don't want to work for him. It's toxic. Don't go. And so community great. The guys on on the air within the department, the officers, the sergeants and so forth. Great. I met almost every single one of them, but it was the chief that seemed to be causing the issue. Now they're going through a whole thing still, because, you know, it's not that easy. Just get rid of somebody. But it's very easy to get rid of the chief. Well, there's still there's still a process. There's still a process to that. He works for the city, so they're not part of the police union, which most people don't realize in this situation is that. But, yes, he's you know, they're going through a process with that. But when you said they can't hire you if you have a hard time hiring, and then you mentioned that a lot of chiefs don't want to do the work. Is is it possible that there's also an issue then of leadership within a lot of departments that may be causing some of the issues with hiring quality individuals or causing extra stress on, you know, officers and so forth, because they they've got to deal with their families, so forth? Well, no, absolutely. I mean, you had a you had a police chief just recently. And I'm not I don't want to I don't know. I think I don't want to say I think it was in Pennsylvania who he and he's the police chief went out and put. Made up some, printed out some KKK, the swastika, the swastika and stuff that put them on the British Empire. Yeah. Was it was it Ohio? Yeah, I think so. So so, you know, it's it's yeah. I mean, a lot of a lot of police chiefs are the problem. But I'm going to give you an example. That community that I took over in East Texas that was brought in as a change agent, I was brought in as the first minority police chief to change the culture of that organization. Some of the officers in the organization wanted to change, the majority of them didn't want it, you know, because. And then as we as we painted a picture and started doing things and the image started to change, it looked like everything was great on the outside. But internally, we had a fight to to I mean, they didn't want the change. They didn't want the direction we were going into. They didn't want to be held accountable. They didn't want more minorities. They're like, this is, you know. We're where historically this was the way we are, this is the way it's going to be, we're not going to take orders from a spik like you. We're not going to do this. We're not going to do that. And as we started bringing in younger and my different minority police officers to come in, the officers internally were doing everything they could to get rid of them and make their life because they were so toxic. Hmm. So here the role was reversed. You know, you had it you had a you had a chief. Right. Which was me, which wanted to make the change. You had city council that wanted the change. You had the community that wanted to change. But I had 60 somewhat officers that refused to budge. Well, you know, so the toxicity comes internally. It can come from leadership. Hmm. Because when I was there, I mean, before I got there, that behavior was tolerated and that behavior was OK. It's OK to do that. It's OK. We don't need body cameras. We don't need this. We don't need rules. We don't. They didn't even have an internal affairs division. We don't need this. We don't need that. I will tell you that if you wanted to file a complaint against a police officer, you had to fill out and I'm not kidding. A 12 page. Document to file a complaint on an officer. And it's also, if you wanted to file a compliment on the officer, you had to fill out this 12 page report. When I got there, I turned it into a one page. Three by four court to file a complaint or a compliment made it very simple. That was it. Also, like I said, with the change of leadership when I left, I had that department fully staffed. First time in the history of the agency ever fully staffed. So so, yeah, to answer your question, I mean, it comes from all levels. It's it starts with the leadership. But sometimes the leadership is trying to do the right thing. Mm hmm. But it's the people that are following that don't want the right thing. So it makes it that dealership's the leader's job almost impossible. And then you got unions, so you can't necessarily make changes like you need. Yep. So basically the whole systematic issue. Yes. And you see the chief is the chief. The chiefs are never we're never represented by by unions. Yeah, we may we may have a contract. But, you know, most police chief contracts, there's usually an out clause for the city that says, you know, as long as we both agree and they may be a severance package. Goodbye. Don't say anything bad about us. We won't say anything bad about you. Get the hell out, man. And you know, and in my case, you know, I had I had about 60 police officers that won in my head. And I mean, even if I if I breathed, they were filing a complaint against me, I'm like. OK. You know, and it was all very simple, just because the color of my skin and because I was trying to bring unity and equality to everybody and it is what it is, I said, you know what, I've done everything that I can. You know, I was named the twenty the twenty seventeen humanitarian of the year by the NAACP. So I know I did my job. I did what I had to do. But you know what? I can't do this anymore. So we bounced, you know. Yeah, I have an interesting question. What would you say to those who say recreational drugs should be legalized to reduce drug related crimes, especially to those states that have legalized marijuana weed? Are the states have legalized medicinal marijuana, yet? You still have people that are in jail, have been in jail for years in those states that have not been legalized. They're still in jail in a state that has been legalized, same drug they went to jail for. So what would you say to those people that that are campaigning for recreational drugs to be legalized to reduce drug related crimes? Well, that's put me on the spot, didn't you? So. My professional opinion on that is, you know, when I was younger, I wanted everybody locked up, you know, you had got one joint one, one of one ounce or whatever, marijuana, you got to go to jail. As I got older and I started realizing things, you know, you can actually you ruin a person's life. One joint, they can never qualify for financial aid. And they become and they become the system. And then that's the gateway drug that took them down a spiral. But it really, really wasn't the drug, because they don't smoke drugs. They don't do drugs anymore. But now they're in the system and they can't be part of anything else. Right. So I agree on the medicinal purposes. If you can find, you know, like, well, what you see, marijuana, marijuana, you know, it's good for arthritis is good for. That's what they say. I don't know. OK. You know, there's a medical reason there's research or this and that, OK, you know, legalize it. And you know what? Let's let's cut out the let's cut out the jail time for a lot of these drugs, you know? I mean, you got people I mean, where do you draw the line? You know, I mean, it's like, well, what's recreational? Is heroin recreational? I mean, is there are some is there some kind of medicinal purpose? I guess you could say there is, because heroin is is kind of a subcommittee of morphine. So it could help with pain because it it just numbs you. Right. So, I mean, I don't know. Where do you draw the line? Yeah, but I do think that maybe we should decriminalize a lot of the drugs and that when I say a lot, I mean a lot for me when I'm talking about marijuana, that's what I. Yeah. You know, I mean, I think you should decriminalize it. And anybody that did not did not create commit a violent offense. And that's, you know, an assault or sexual assault or anything like that, if you'd committed it while you were intoxicated under the influence, and you need to stay in jail. But if you were walking down the street, you know, three are walking down the street and the cops pull us over for whatever reason, because we look suspicious, because, you know, why are two men of color hanging out with this white guy? What's going on here? You know, and the weird looking group and you fight, you know, different age groups here. What's thirty seven ones? Forty eight once? Twenty seven. What the hell? You know, so you find the marijuana and it's like, well, you know what? OK. You know, slap on the wrist. Go on your merry way. Sure. Ten years ago, if that happened, you know, they'll lock us up for five, ten years just for walking down the street with joints in our pocket. I do this in L.A. I grew up Southern California. And when I was a young kid, there was the crack epidemic. And I understand how that just that drug alone just killed families because you're talking to so many mothers and so forth, went from working to not making any money. And now kids are figuring out how do I survive? But on the same time, they got the the the solution to that was the three strike rule, where basically, if you got a you're going you had life in prison essentially, or something close to it, nearly impossible to get out. And I would almost argue that that just escalated the issue to another level versus, you know. Right. And then how do you recover from that as a community? I mean, come on. Well, you see and I just that goes back to the earlier conversation about equality. Okay. I mean, where's the equality in that? There isn't enough. Because, look, we are. We all know the recent crack was created was because it was, you know, traditionally supposed to be a poor man's cocaine Premiere. That's what it was for. You know, and unfortunately, who is the majority of the poor meant minorities. Right. And it was supposed to impact the African-American community way more the history of Chicago and L.A. I mean, it's all there. It's there. And then you go to L.A., you create the three strikes rule. Well, who who's the majority of the people that are getting life sentences? Minorities. You know, so you've totally disproportionate. Is this the whole equality thing? And it's not working. You know, so while and I'll be honest with you, back in the day when it passed, I was like, yeah, I read that in Texas when he died in Texas. And now I'm like like I know that's the stupidest thing ever, you know? Right. Yeah. Because we look at it with a basically lack of empathy, because I would have been the same way like you took the drug. Right. But at the same time to understand. The situation, right, I'm not saying someone's innocent because they took it, but I'm not saying that, but at the same time, you're not you're making the issue worse by stripping everybody out of the out of a family forever. And now you're putting kids into another system, whether, you know, whether it's a foster system or whatever. So it's not it's not a solution. My point is, is that it's not even a Band-Aid. I don't know what you would call that. But no. And that's what I'm saying. You know, it just boils down to a lot of systems are being broken, you know. I mean, you know, and I've heard a lot of people say, well, you know, cocaine used to be a rich man's drug. You know, back in the 80s when it first popped out, you know, in the 70s, you know, it was it was a rich man's drug. So how can you say it's important? Drugs are a poor man's problem as well. The other side, it's an everybody problem. And how do we how do we stop the drug? How do we stop, though? How do we stop the use of drugs when the United States is the number one consumer of illegal drugs? And then I would wonder, would they make the same three strikes rule with the opiates right where we live in Dayton, Ohio? It's like the capital. I mean, trafficking and the opioid crisis. It's terrible. Narcan is being used every hour. It's terrible. But I've I've no I've not I've only pretty much heard of white guys and women who have been having these odey issues. I could be wrong. I haven't actually looked at the statistics, but as far as I can tell from all the stories I hear, it's primarily white. So would we have made the same three strikes rule in that? Right. I don't know. I doubt it. But well, you know, without making this a racial issue, I mean, let's look at it. Let's look at it. Let's look at it this way. Would they have issued the three strikes rule? Never. Would they? Right now that the the the opiates, it's an epidemic. It's a terrible, horrible, you know, crack crack cocaine. Oh, lot. Those guys up three strikes. Send them up. Lock them up a hill. Yeah. Well, why? Because they're minorities could get rid of it. Yeah. I mean, you know, and that's what I'm talking about. It's like, look, you know, the opiate crisis, the crack crisis, it's all the crisis drugs. It doesn't matter what it is. It should enough it shouldn't be decided on color, shouldn't be decided on race. It's an everybody problem. It's a human being problem. So how do we fix it? And we need to attack it in the same way all of. You know, why are they offering? You know, why is Narcan available for opioids? And why is treatment centers are being opened for the opioid crisis, but nothing for the crack and the heroin and everything else. One goes the other goes to rehab. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. You know, so that was kind of my point was I need a hand. Right, Narcan. Because people always ask me, what's your opinion on Narcan? Because we're just giving us people who just want to die. Mike? Well, they don't necessarily want to die. They have an issue and they have no idea how to fix it. What you see in that back, you know, drug issue is usually connected to some kind of mental illness. You know, it it may be connected to some kind of other work related injury and you got hooked on them. But but, you know, the majority of the time, we have to really concentrate on mental health. You know, everybody suffers from mental health issues. I know every morning. I mean, I struggle for mental health issues every other hour because something is just like, oh, my God, you know? And we just handle it differently. But we need to start paying more attention to mental health. Mm hmm. Absolutely. And all of these things can be summed up into one word, adversity. Yeah. And how do you overcome it? How do you overcome that? But you create a leadership development program talking about leading through adversity. Tell our audience what that is. Why did you come up with it and how is it helping leaders overcome the adversity? Yeah, you know, so I created lean through adversity based out of my experience in East Texas. You know, here we had this great thing going. I'm thinking to myself, how the hell is everything so right? And everything is so wrong? It's like. How how I'm the police chief, I'm one of these guys. How come I can't get them to follow? And I had nobody to talk to. I had nobody to you know, I couldn't go talk to the mayor, couldn't go talk to city council. I couldn't talk to the officers because I couldn't stand me. I could I couldn't go talk to my wife because she didn't understand it. I was kind of alone. So after I left, you know, I said, you know what, there's got to be something. So I came up I came up with leading through adversity. And, you know, I sent out some feelers through my network, you know, just to other police chiefs and say, look, man, if you're ever in any type of situation where you just need to talk and you feel like you're alone and you have nobody there in your corner. You know, pick up the phone. And that's how it started. You know, I started having police chiefs calling me in like, hey, man, we heard that you went through this. I'm going through this. How do I how do I fix it? So before you knew it, it started picking up some steam. And then I started putting some leadership development courses on how to deal with the adversity of dealing with the unknown and dealing with issues that you may be confronted with and or created some new programs for new leaders. Because when you become a leader, everybody tells you how wonderful and great things are going to be. But they always forget to tell you all the headaches that come with it. Like all of a sudden you may become the most popular guy in the world because of what you can do for me, you know , and that because of you're a great leader, but I want to see how much I can milk out of you. So I created leadership development courses. And now you know what we started off with. Five nonpaying clients now we're at thirty eight paying clients, and that includes they include chiefs of police, CEOs, school superintendents, and it's all over the nation. And we're picking up some really good momentum. I mean, you know, we just we just did something in in in in Phenix and in the Phenix, Arizona area where this one police chief had an idea, but he knew he wasn't going to be able to sell it to his officers. So we went down there as a consulting firm and pitched the idea for him. And the officers thought it was a great, greatest thing ever. But we didn't come up with it, we just did the pitch, it was his idea. But had they known it was his idea, they would have hung them. You know, so so that's kind of what we do. And then, you know, we're doing some executive searches now and hopefully trying to help agencies and communities pick the right police chief that's going to take them to their next to the to. To where we need to go. You know, so that's what leading through adversity is all about. Also, those of you that are watching, listen to this purchase Eddys book, unmasking leadership, what they don't tell you. And sign up for those leadership development programs through reading through adversity. The program is leading through adversity. We also want you to connect and follow Eddie on social media. You can connect with him on his website, Hazen's Eddie Topa dot com. Those you that are listening to us, Edyta CAFTA dot com is his website is Instagram handle is at leading underscore through underscore adversity. He's also you can find him on LinkedIn, Hazen's, Eddi, top up and on Facebook Hazels at COPO. Also, stay connected with us here on social media or our various social media platforms on script, authentic leadership podcast on Facebook or Instagram handle ad unscripted leadership also can find us on LinkedIn or unscripted authentic leadership podcast. You can straight this episode and all of our forty nine other episodes of our podcast on any podcast platform from Apple to Spotify or our radio, Stitcher, so forth. Connect with those on our website, unscripted, that's leadership dot com where you can sign up for one of our mastermind groups. You can go there and find out more information about that. You also can find some merch there on our website there. When you sign up for our unscripted email group, you will receive a 10 percent off Merche call. This has been another amazing episode of the unscripted Authentic Leadership Podcast. Again, thank you to our special guest, Eddie for all the great information that he shared. Some of will be developed and better empowered by that information. We thank you for tuning in. And we pray that you be the leader God has called you to be. As always, we're here to build bridges and not walls. Bridges connect and walls divide, until next time, God bless.